Numerian 283 – 284 A.D.

Son of Carus and brother of Carinus, Numerian's brief stint as emperor started when he along with his father set out for war against the Sassanians in Persia (Iran). Under mysterious circumstances Carus was incinerated in his tent just prior to the military encounter of the two armies. The official explanation was that the tent had been stricken by lightning but this has been interpreted as much too convenient. As the battle was called off and the army was returning Numerian, too, was found dead in his quarters. This time a hasty investigation was started and the Praetorian Prefect, a certain Aper,...

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Carus 282 – 283 A.D.

The short reign of this emperor is clouded with differing accounts of his life. Whether he instigated a successful revolt that ended with the death of Probus or that he was simply named emperor upon hearing of his death is unsure. Either way, his accession was ratified by the Senate. He promptly set out with his armies to counter recent tribal invasions along the empire's Germanic borders and from there led a successful campaign against the Persians. What happened next is also unsure but Carus died under suspicious conditions. Supposedly he was stricken by lightning but this sounds too convenient...

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Carinus 283 – 285 A.D.

Carinus became Caesar along with his brother Numerian soon after their father, Carus, arrived to the throne. When war broke out with the Persians, Carus elevated both sons and all three held the same title. Carus took Numerian along with him to war and both perished leaving him as the sole surviving emperor. He was a hated emperor with sources citing unprovoked murders within the Senate and entertained in every sordid vice he could indulge without any care of the welfare of anyone else. His brief reign recalled all the hated excesses of Gallienus of some twenty years before. In fact, Gibbon, the most...

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